WHAT TYPE OF BIKE IS IT?
Rigid views of road and mountain bikes have been in place for a long time, but an evolution of sub-disciplines has led more purpose built bikes to market and broadened the view of what biking can be. A recent example is the explosion of “gravel” bikes like the Moots Routt 45, gaining broad appeal thanks to events like Dirty Kanza along with forward thinking bike shops like CyclePathPDX and North Central. The Baxter is a bike built for maximum versatility, for adventure that knows no bounds, and for the sole purpose of riding everywhere without limitations.
Ok, so you mean it’s an adventure bike?
The funny thing about “adventure” as a category of bike is that the description is so broad as to be meaningless. Adventuring on a bike has always been a matter of choosing your own adventure and every type of bike can be outfitted to push you to new terrain, new distances, and new styles. But modern adventures bikes are being designed to make those adventures a little more comfortable, a little more fun, and accessible to riders of all abilities and styles. The Moots Baxter is ready to be pushed over the broadest spectrum of adventures and will put a smile on your face in a way that a road, mountain and gravel bike can’t.
Tell me why I should consider this as my next bike?
The Baxter answers the question of “roadie or mountain biker?” with a loud BOTH. It’s the bike for riders who enjoy the adventure of a paved/gravel ride to the trailhead just as much as the trail, with potential for everything in between. It’s for the riders who stopped caring about the distinction of roadie vs. mountain bike, instead wanting more of everything in their rides. It’s a bike that just might change the way you think about where you are riding and exciting new combinations of your favorite gravel roads and trails become one ride. And it’s the bike for long distance adventures where you are barreling down a long gravel road across Kansas for a few days, then dropping your packs to ride the SwitchGrass IMBA epic trail before you carry on to somewhere else. Locally I can’t wait to ride this up over Buffalo Pass road, across some of our recently built Buff Pass trails, and then back around the pavement of Rabbit Ears Pass. 1 day, 2 days, 3 weeks, it’s up for fun.
A little background/The Moots perspective-
Yes riders have been running “Monster Cross” drop bar setups for years, but the Baxter is different from a Monster Cross in that the geometry is optimized for drop bars with some road manners thrown in. 10 years ago when I first started at Moots a key employee here named Gordon Schuck was rocking a drop bar 29er on adventures around town and to nearby Dinosaur National Monument. He was followed by a number of other employees including our CNC Dungeon director Eric Hindes running Woodchipper bars on his Mooto-X. The Mooto-X RSL chassis has been utilized for drop bar Monster Cross setups for many years as well as the Mooto-X YBB which is a great option for long distance bike packing or if you want bias towards comfort over speed. Then the Routt and Routt 45 came onto the scene pushing our gravel bike segment to new tire sizes and showcasing our mastery of titanium chain stay design in order to accommodate the bigger tires and gravel road chainring combinations. When you put together our experience working with Titanium in these gravel and monster cross applications along with the significant amount of feedback coming from our customers, from our dealers, and from our inside employee team of passionate cyclists, you end up with the Baxter.
Let’s get Technical
The Moots Baxter fills a gap between our Routt 45 Gravel bike and our Mooto-X RSL XC Mountain bike. It brings together the speed and efficiency of a gravel bike with the trail stability of our Mooto-X RSL. Our complete build is biased towards speed and stability with an Enve Carbon Mtn Fork, Mavic Crossmax PRO 29” wheels, and 2.1 size tires. The component group runs a Shimano XT Di2 drivetrain with Road R785 levers on Salsa bars (Road and mountain component compatibility thanks to the Di2). Gearing of 38-26 combined with 11-42 cassette gives you a broad range (515% gear range, between 100 and 19 gear inches, just right to tackle steep dirt roads and long paved stretches. If you are asking the question of max tire clearance then this isn’t the bike for you as a tire over 2.2 requires a different machine; check out our Mooto-X RSL or YBB which utilizes Boost 148 spacing and clearance up to 2.4. If you likely won’t be riding up steep mountain roads or light trails, then the Baxter is probably not the bike for you, instead check out our Routt 45, which is much more purpose built for gravel roads. But if you see an adventure that involves ripping across the county on your favorite gravel roads, camping for a night, and then riding great trail/doubletrack in the AM, this could be your bike. Dirty Kanza, check. A fast Tour Divide, check. Kokopelli ride, check. An after work get on your bike and go wherever, check.